September is SU2C month 2016 in Second Life

2016-logoThursday, September 1st marks the start of the 2016 Second Life Concerts to Benefit Stand Up 2 Cancer (SU2C).

Building on the success of the 2014 and 2015 seasons, this year sees Second Life Concerts to Benefit SU2C running throughout September, featuring 40 venues and over 160 performers giving concerts and holding events across the next 30 days to raise money for the international Stand Up 2 Cancer campaign.

Led by Still Braveheart, SL Concerts to Benefit SU2C is now an established part of the Second Life calendar, presenting people with the opportunity to attend events in-world, enjoy great concerts and music, donate to SU2C through donation boards, or if they prefer, follow links to donate directly to SU2C activities in their preferred country – Canada, the UK or the USA. In addition, people can also donate through the Second Life UK or US team pages for SU2C.

Venues involved in this year’s season include:

1st Chapter Plaza, Acoustic Cave, Ashley’s Oasis, Bonaventure Square, Caitinara Bar, The Galleria of Fashion,  Bound Elegance, Breakers, BS’s, Café Musique, Chain of Love, Coffee House and Fireside Chat, Coffee’s Live Music Venue, Chicago’s New Place II, Ce Soir Tonight,  Free Spirit Farms,  Gspot Club, Kultivate Magazine, Lil Reds, Lovekats, Mi Casa, Su Casa, MPW Church and Music Venue, Moonshine & Roses,  Party Beach Scheveningen, Place of Grace, Quinn’s Place, RMS Titanic, Smokin’ Aces, Spin Club, Solarwinds Music Live Club, Stargazer Café, The Dirty Grind, The Hollywood Ballroom, and Theatre, Lemonrock Café, The Only Venue, and Tricksters Sounds.

Given this is a month-long season, providing the entire schedule here is impractical – so instead, please refer to Still’s own blog for the daily list, or check the SU2C SL Google calendar, or visit BS’s in-world for updates, where you can also find the SL Concerts to Benefit SU2C auction boards, and bid on the time of one of SL’s top entertainers.

The concert stage at BS's - Still's own venue in Second Life
The concert stage at BS’s – Still’s own venue in Second Life, where you can find out more and participate in this year’s auction

About Stand Up 2 Cancer

SU2C takes an innovative  approach to ending cancer by focusing on forming “dream teams” of doctors and researchers who are directly involved in leading-edge cancer research and treatment, and then undertaking aggressive research programmes. 100% of all donations made through SU2C goes directly into funding cancer research and treatment and paying for these teams; none is lost to “administrative costs” or put aside for CEO or executive salaries, etc.

Such is the success of this approach that as of 2014, and in the USA alone, SU2C has raised over $261 million in seven years. This money has all be used in directly supporting 141 clinical trials of possible cancer treatments, involving 750 scientists and 5,000 cancer patients, and which have spanned 112 US institutions.

Related Links

The Drax Files 40: the eyes of experience in Second Life

Bernhard Dörries

Update, January 16th, 2017: Bernhard Dörries passed away in a hospital in Augsburg, Germany, on Sunday, January 15th. Our condolences to his family and friends. Those wishing to personally pass on condolences can do so through Concetta Curtiz in-world. Please see the comment from Draxtor which follows this article. 

“My name is Bernhard Dörries, basically for as long as I have been alive. In Second Life my name is Bernhard McIntyre; I am 88 years old. In Second Life I am, and I feel like, 37.” And thus the focus of the September 2016 segment of The Drax Files World Makers introduces himself in what is one of the most remarkable pieces so far filmed in the series.

His name may not be familiar to most of us, but Bernhard Dörries was instrumental in the establishing the German New Cinema movement following the end of World War 2. Perhaps not as recognised even within cinematic circles due to his focus on television, he nevertheless made 129 films during his career, ranging in scope from experimental meditations on the moral decline and subsequent clash of upper class society in Germany, through documenting the existence of two German states during the Cold War, to pieces examining art history and the influence of colonial powers on middle east painting and sculpture in the 20th century.

What’s more, he is still filming, having turned his attention to machinima and the potential of Second Life – a platform which has become as much his home as the assisted living centre in which he resides in the physical world.

Bernhard McIntyre " “My avatar is [my] co-creator, equal partner in sharing feelings, co-owner of feelings and emotions.”
Bernhard McIntyre ” “My avatar is [my] co-creator, equal partner in sharing feelings, co-owner of feelings and emotions.”
“I discovered Second Life in 2008,” he says. “It not only showed me new worlds, it opened new worlds inside myself! I became a new person!” Bernhard says of his experience of the platform. It is within Second Life that Bernhard lives with his Second Life partner, Alsya, where they share a tropical island home modelled after Stromboli – up to and including the volcano! – and which removes the physical world distance between them.

Throughout his career, Bernhard has looked into the nature of society; starting in Munich at the end of the war, and the near-destruction of his homeland. He has constantly sought to scratch away at the surface veneer of our modern society and look at what lay beneath, and how progress so often involves the burying (and ignoring?) of the past, perhaps leaving issues and situations – and lessons – ignored.

Bernhard’s own situation is perhaps a reflection of this. Elderly, in need of care assistance, confined to a wheel chair, he is of a generation our commercial, consumer-driven society can often see as having little intrinsic value (in the UK, for example, the most frequent television adverts we have for those of 60 or over present their commercial worth in terms of life insurance policies aimed at meeting funeral costs).

The fathers of German New Cinema, post WW2 (l-to-r): Christian Doermer. Dieter Lemmel, Bernhard Dörries, Edgar Reitz, Rob Houwer, Hans Jürgen Pohland, Wolfganf Urchs, Roland Martini, Alexander Kluge and Hilmar Hoffmann, director of the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen (1954-1970)
The fathers of German New Cinema, post WW2 (l-to-r): Christian Doermer. Dieter Lemmel, Bernhard Dörries, Edgar Reitz, Rob Houwer, Hans Jürgen Pohland, Wolfganf Urchs, Roland Martini, Alexander Kluge and Hilmar Hoffmann, director of the International Short Film Festival, Oberhausen, Germany (1954-1970)

Yet, as Bernhard demonstrates, while his body may be frail, his mind – and heart – are as agile as ever, and through Second Life he can fully enjoy creative expression in building an island home and in putting together an 80-minute machinima film. It is a place where he can also enjoy emotional release and partake of the company of loved ones and friends on equal terms, free from and shadows or outlooks which might otherwise colour interactions with him.

Bernhard himself recognises this, saying, “My avatar is [my] co-creator. Equal partner in sharing feelings, co-owner of feelings and emotions.” While the comment may have come in response to a question about his film, there is little doubt he’s referring to the broader dynamic between himself and his avatar. It’s a sentiment anyone who has invested time and self in their avatar will doubtless find resonating. However, with Bernhard, we should see within it a special value.

As with Fran Swenson, whose story Drax covered exactly three years ago in September 2013, he demonstrates that Second Life is as much about expressing who we are, regardless of age or situation or location as it is about creativity. It offers a genuine mix of potential and opportunity unmatched in any other medium.

So much so, that I find my thoughts sliding off at a tangent. Just how well will the upcoming new platforms – High Fidelity, Sansar, et al, with their onus more on the “real” self, through elements of identity, voice, and so on, manage to replicate the broad freedoms all of us enjoy in Second Life when expressing who we are – or who we prefer to be? It’s potentially an interesting subject on which to cogitate, although one perhaps better served in a separate article.

As it is, this a beautiful piece, fully deserving of the slightly longer running time, providing us with insight into a remarkable man who is still as much a pioneer today with his embracing of Second Life as he was when he and his colleagues set out to redefine German cinema.